view of the government building on the central square of Kim Il-Sung of Pyongyang - capital of the North Korea

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has allegedly developed nuclear energy while suffering near collapse caused by catastrophic economic policies. This work presents an evaluation of North Korea’s contemporary energy policies and stances and suggests that despite holding onto communist ideals and “Chu’che” policies, North Korea has slowly begun to modernise its energy sector and recognises the necessity to start engaging with the international community. While it is argued that Pyongyang’s newfound concerns for sustainable development, equity and the environment are a welcomed departure from its usual belligerent rhetoric and present a number of exciting engagement opportunities, the regime has not abandoned its nuclear energy programme.

Keywords: North Korea, energy security, economic policy, nuclear programme, sustainable development